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Virot, Andrée Marthe

    Date of birth:
    February 3rd, 1905 (Brittany/France)
    Date of death:
    February 5th, 2010 (Long Ashton/Long Ashton, Great Britain)
    Nationality:
    French (1870-present, Republic)

    Biography

    Andrée Virot ran a beauty shop in Brest at the outbreak of war and then joined the Resistance and was initially tasked with distributing an underground newspaper. She was soon promoted to run a section of the VAR line, the Breton escape route to the Brittany beaches where downed aviators, along with some Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents, could be picked up for transport to England. Stationed at the end of the line, she was responsible for signaling the small vessels sent to receive the men; during her time in charge, not one of the 102 escapees were lost.
    Betrayed to the Gestapo in 1944, she was sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald, where she survived meningitis and was pending execution when American troops liberated the facility on April 11, 1945.
    After the war, she worked in a Paris restaurant on the Rive Gauche where she met her future husband, John Peel (deceased 2003); following her marriage she lived in Long Ashton, England. Peel's autobiography, "Miracles Do Happen," was published in 1999.

    Médaille de reconnaissance de la Nation agrafe « 1939-1945 »

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Sous-Lieutenante
    Awarded on:
    April 16th, 2004
    Officier de l' Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    April 27th, 1967
    Chevalier de l' Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    1 palm + 1 silver star
    Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    October 15th, 1945
    Médaille de la Résistance Française
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    with clasp « 1939-1945 »
    Croix du Combattant Volontaire 1939-1945
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    with clasp « Déporté »
    Médaille de la Déportation et de l’Internement pour faits de Résistance
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    with claps « Libération »
    Médaille Commemorative de la Guerre 1939-1945
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    1953
    Medal of Freedom

    Sources

    Photo